The ABA White Collar Committee experience: visit exotic places, meet interesting people, and throw up on them.
Well, not quite. But closer than I might have liked. Memo to self: self, getting up at 4:30 for a plane, eating a greasy airport breakfast, fasting for ten hours, then drinking a few beers followed by eight mojitos is not the path to enlightenment or righteousness. In fact, self, it is the path to waking up with an embarrassing facial crease because I feel asleep a plastic collar insert from a new shirt that I had thrown on the bed.
These events, you understand, are only nominally about actually getting continuing legal education. Mostly they are about socializing with people who want to get referrals from you or from whom you hope to get referrals. Hence the Masque-of-Red-Death-style partying.
I'm staying at the National on the edge of South Beach, a cool art deco hotel. We started with dinner and drinks there. Then off to a party on a hotel rooftop in the heart of South Beach. There were very, very good mojitos there. Then to the Delano, one of South Beach's most oppressively hip places, with a long and somewhat surreal lobby/bar divided by gently swaying white curtains. The Delano was chock full of beautiful folks who looked substantially put out — to the extent that beautiful people ever look put out — by the incursion of the pasty business-casual hordes of white collar lawyers. Even with my fellow bar members present, I felt acutely out of place; I was insufficiently cool for the Delano by a couple of orders of magnitude. I felt as if I had stumbled up to the Algonquin Round Table and dropped my Monster Manual on Dorothy Parker's foot.
Today, I'm actually at the hotel where the conference is taking place. I'm skipping the opening remarks to write this. I will sit in on the opening session about the KPMG criminal case, then dabble in the smaller sessions — I'm thinking Corporate Plea Bargaining, lunch, and then Mortgage Fraud (which promises to be the next flavor-of-the-month) and finishing up with internal investigations. I have to actually show up and be seen at a few of these things or my associates will mock me and disrespect mah authoritah. More than they do after last night, I mean. Then, tonight, the party my firm is throwing. More later.
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